Leon Balogun has admitted he has been left frightened after a shift in fan abuse and increase in violence amongst football supporters.

The Rangers centre-back pinpointed social media as a reason for abuse having "taken a turn for the worse" as he discussed unacceptable shouts from fans during a FIFPRO virtual meeting.

The Ibrox stopper, 35, has noticed a change in the threshold for fans who now believe abuse is acceptable - but was clear the majority of supporters do not partake in worrying behaviour.

Balogun - a member of FIFPRO's Global Player Council warned some fans believe they have the right to abuse players through their ticket price alone.

He explained:ย "I have this feeling that this constant access to the real me as a player has lowered the threshold for fans in the stadium to a point where some think they are entitled to do things which they really aren't.

"Some people, not the majority, feel because they have paid for a ticket to come to the stadium that it somehow automatically gives them the right to abuse you. There are people who just want to voice their frustration at you in a very inappropriate way.

"It has developed over the last 16 years since I've been a professional. It has taken a turn for the worse with the introduction and rise of social media."

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A workplace safety report revealed 85 percent of player unions agree the relationship between fans and players is positive and should be cherished.

However, 76 percent said workplace safety is a growing concern for footballers with 66 percent agreeing parts of fan culture have "become increasingly more violent and abusive".

Balogun added:ย "With the spread and the rise of social media, it has definitely become more violent.ย 

"I think there has always been a culture in football amongst a small group of supporters that had a tendency for violence.

"But what players and managers are exposed to in the stadium with the physical and the verbal abuse, the threshold seems to go lower and lower, and people are just not scared โ€“ and that's what's frightening to me."